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Living over the brush

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peppy | 22:07 Tue 08th May 2007 | Phrases & Sayings
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Means living together whilst being unmarried, but why ? x x

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Isn't it something to do with the fact that 'jumping the broomstick' was getting married?

Ahh yes, it is:

http://www.phrases.org.uk/bulletin_board/9/mes sages/383.html
I understood this tradition to have originated in the slave colonies in the deep South in the last century. Again, without recourse to formal legal ceremonies, slave couples would 'jump the broomstick' and live as man and wife.
Now I have Brenda Lee in my head, andy!
Thanks for that. I thought that jumping the broomstick came solely from the Pagan/Wiccan handfasting ceremonies (weddings). I didn't know it came from the slave colonies aswell.
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Thanks everyone, that's fascinating !! x x
Still got Brenda in my head!

She is from the Southern States..it must have been tradition there too?

http://youtube.com/watch?v=Qj4KzDbJifw
Quite possibly Pippa68 - attitudes to marriage in the South were notriously relaxed - even up to the late '50's and early '60's - as Jerry Lee Lewis discovered when he turned up with his thirteen-year-old bride who happened to be his cousin! No problem there - bit of a scandal here!
Oh yes..that was a bit before my time, but I have read articles and heard about the scandal from some of my family members!

Some Americans still display that 'ewwww' factor about cousins marrying..even in the places where it is legal. Mind you the same could be said about this country..
There seems to be a strong feeling that it originated with the African-American slave communities, but it pre-dates the mass slavery times, as it has a long tradition in Europe, usually within marginalized or poorer communities where a Church marriage involved considerable costs. It is known in the Roma communities, the Welsh, and in the British Regiments serving abroad (India and European campaigns). It was probably taken up by the African slave communities from the British slaves who pre-dated them on the plantations, and whom were also only able to marry with their owners consent, so reverted to old tradition.

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Living over the brush

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